4:25 a. m. And I can't sleep. Today McGill University is hosting a
Global Food Security Conference that is sponsored by Syngenta.
Historically, industrialization has been opposed to food security, and
the process of industrialization removed people from their life on the
land, and took from people that special kind of dignity that one has
when one can sustain oneself from the land where one lives. It moved
people from their traditional rural agricultural communities and pressed
them into urban poverty where we live precariously, and must do what
industry demands of us or become homeless and hungry. Industrialization
cleared the commons. Industrialization did this in the distant past in
Britain and in Canada, but it is doing it today elsewhere. Modernization
has moved us away from the land personally by demanding that our
energies be spent specializing and producing patentable knowledge
The attendees of the food security conference ought
to know that in order for people to be food secure, people need to stop
globalizing and deregulating capitalization on agriculture and the
processes of food production.
However, I am not advocating
socialized agriculture at this time. The presence of agricultural
industry throughout our decision-making institutions would likely turn
any attempt by us to socialize agriculture toward the further
establishment and institutionalization of monoculture agriculture.
Unfortunately, if we were to socialize agriculture at this time, and
establish a right to food as we have a right to healthcare, the
corruption of our political process would merely make
herbicide-dependent monoculture mandatory. It would eliminate resilient,
diverse, localized and organic agricultural operations altogether.
I am a Ph. D. candidate at McGill. During my time here, I studied the
responses of canola plants to bacterial signal molecules. As someone who
studies canola, I am perhaps particularly aware of how production and
capital have steered research over the decades, and how unaccountable
millions of dollars have been sunk into the development of dubious
agriculture and biotechnology, based on the aspiration for gains to the
quality of life for the researchers, and for the production of patents.
Who knows what those millions of dollars would have been spent on, if
the primary concern had not been capitalization upon the sale of the
seed and crushing for oil.
Science has been abused to continue research and perpetuate the production of patents.
The perpetuation of monoculture agriculture has simplified and
lobotomized the agricultural relationship between farmers and the land.
Monoculture has increased the size of fields, and the size of the
machinery, and the yield of corn and soybeans, but it has decreased our
ability to produce a nutritious diet that would otherwise be composed of
the diverse organisms that would or could live in ecosystems that have
been drained and transformed into flat, eroding, genetically homogenous
landscapes. The genetically homogenous landscapes that are advocated by
the agricultural industry necessitate the use of fertilizer, which
contaminates the water, and pesticides, which are poisons that cause
disease and the destabilization of the food web.